What are the major improvements that the Pioneer has over the Big Red? The two are really good machines. I have been considering buying a Big Red since it will be quite a bit cheaper.
I have had a Big Red on the farm for over 2 years, and over 2000 miles. I loved the machine, it was an excellent workhorse. But there was a couple of things that I felt where not up to Honda standards. I have had Honda's for almost 40 years, starting with a ATC 70 in the early 70's.
1. Lots of vibration throughout the body. Door latch bumpers where poorly designed, lots of door rattle with lack of sufficient adjustment. Single cylinder motor is now mounted in its own rubber isolated sub-frame. The first thing a previous Big Red owner will notice is how smooth and rattle free it is. Bed constantly squeaked on its rubber pads, despite using multiple types of lubricants. They worked, but only for a short period of time. There are better types of materials than rubber for this.
2. Poor air intake design. Air was drawn in under the bed, and in severe dusty conditions it was a big problem for Honda. There are Honda dealers here is Nebraska, that will not take a Big Red on trade, until they have removed the air filter box, and check the air intake side of the carb for dirt ingestion. This was not a problem in many areas of the country where many country roads are paved, or used in normal trail use. Here in Nebraska, we know what "dusty" conditions really mean! I did not have a problem, but I know how to correctly clean/prepare a air filter for these conditions.
Just a couple observations from a long time Honda owner. I just traded for a new Pioneer-2. Only has 2 miles on it so far!!